Our Daughters

: Hybrid Feature
GENRE: Documentary
STATUS: Production


Our Daughters is a hybrid documentary feature that examines open transracial adoption through an immigrant lens. What are the unique challenges facing immigrant adoptive parents?


‘Our Daughters’ flips the script on the transracial adoption and provides an underrepresented and never before seen perspective on the issue. A single white mother makes a bold departure from the norm and chooses an Indian American couple to be her twin daughters' adoptive parents. Now, the eight-year-old twins want to meet their birth mother. The film captures what unfolds during the visit and explores the construct of a family.


Family is the crucible of life. I’m an immigrant living far away from my immediate and extended family. The first Gulf War disrupted my childhood, and my parents took several years to get their rhythm back. So I’m interested in telling stories of disruptive consequences of life events, on children particularly, and on the family as a unit. Approximately 40 percent of adoptions in America are transracial—and that number is growing. Usually, a transracial adoption story is about affluent, often white parents raising children of color. But when a first-generation immigrant adopts a white or black child, the experiences are different and that narrative has never been explored. A new immigrant feels lost. Their children, white or black, see themselves represented outside in schools, media, and in pop culture. But their family is odd everywhere. When they take their children back home to visit family, they stand out. They stand out at home in America too. Most immigrant parents hold the fear that some traditions and language will be lost and that culture will die if it is not passed on. No film has looked at open adoption where families with young children visit each other and make efforts to interact. With everyone pushed out of their comfort zone, these extended family members are also developing cultural dexterity. 


Chithra Jeyaram - Director, Producer

Chithra’s first exposure to filmmaking began with a failed attempt to fund a film about an explosive water-sharing dispute between two southern states in India. Deeply affected by that experience, she quit a decade-long career as a Physical Therapist and enrolled in film school and earned her M.F.A in Film Production. She is known for Rags to pads, a three-minute film about menstrual hygiene in India. Her other short documentary Mijo, aired on KLRU TV, PBS and played in more than 50 film festivals around the world. Her debut hour-long documentary, Foreign Puzzle was a part of the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundations "On Screen In Person Tour." She is editing episodes for America in Transition, stories about trans people of color in America. Currently, she is in production for Our Daughters - a feature documentary that examines adoption in America through an immigrant lens – an Indian American couple raising white kids in an open adoption. Chithra is the recipient of the Made in NY Fellowship, Creative Arts Fellowship and BAVC National Media Maker Fellowship.


Connect With The Filmmakers:


IFP Fiscal Sponsorship Program 2019
Center for Asian American Media Documentary Fund Awardee 2019


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